back to article Zealous Zoom's zesty zymotic zone zinger: Zestful zealots zip zillions

Videoconferencing upstart Zoom zipped past even the most optimistic projections for its fiscal quarter, thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing millions to stay at home. The company rode the teleconferencing wave to more than double its revenue haul from this time last year, and average upwards of $100m per month. …

  1. mickaroo

    Video Won't Be My New Voice

    "I truly believe video is the new voice, video is the new form of communication,"

    I travel for business (maybe not so much right now), and I keep in touch with my family via Skype. AND I HATE IT...!!!

    On a positive note, after two months of being cloistered with my wife because of coronavirus AND Canadian winter, neither of us has attempted to smother the other with a pillow while they slept.

    1. Jim Mitchell
      Devil

      Re: Video Won't Be My New Voice

      That you know of.

    2. Missing Semicolon
      Devil

      Re: Video Won't Be My New Voice

      keep in touch with my family via Skype. AND I HATE IT...!!! That's cos U iz old.....

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Video Won't Be My New Voice

        No, it's because Skype is... Well.... Unfit for purpose of anything. Other than... Actually, no. It's hopeless.

        Skype for business is even worse.

        Which is why teams still surprises me in that it actually works, and works well.

  2. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Zealots indeed

    All you need to know from the article - Earnings per share were $0.20 while the stock price is almost 1000 times that.

    IDC estimates the Total addressable market for unified communications as a service (UCaaS - whee! Another aaS acronym) is $43b in 2022. Zoom's current market cap is over $58b.

    Welcome to the stock market of dreams.

    1. hoola Bronze badge

      Re: Zealots indeed

      Absolutely, but that is not the fault of Zoom. It is all he banks, traders, VC outfits and so on that for can only exist by creating and supporting the over-inflated valuations.

  3. veti Silver badge

    Why?

    I mean, why Zoom? How did they get to be The videocall platform of the pandemic?

    I don't know about you, but six months ago I had barely heard of Zoom. My employer used MS Teams, which worked fine for them. Personally I use Skype when I need to. But then came the pandemic, and suddenly Zoom was the default platform everyone talked about - and on. How did they pull that off, exactly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      Because it is less shit than MS Teams and Skype.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why?

        It really isn't, Teams integrates deeply with Sharepoint and other MS applications.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          Those are benefits?

          1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

            Re: Why?

            They are benefits if you (like my employer) has spent an awful lot of time and money implementing various systems using those apps..

            Personally, I don't use Zoom. I have major reservations about their practices from a security point of view. After all, this *is* a company that bundled a webserver with the Mac version of their client, just to avoid the user having to agree to a prompt from Safari, and only removed it when their trangression hit the news, and Apple used the Mac's Gatekeeper system to block the server. The fact they were not open about it, and did nothing to correct it until caught makes me wonder what else that server was for. Then there is all the security issues involved in installing a webserver without informing the user. The fact that they did that also makes me wonder what else they bundle.

            A few extra video streams, and pretty backgrounds are not a good substitute for good security.

            When communicating with family/friends, I use Whatsapp (which has it's own problems, I know) . When communicating with work colleagues, I use Teams or Skype (under duress as I don't like either).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          >>It really isn't, Teams integrates deeply with Sharepoint and other MS applications.

          Oh dear lord, get the rubber room ready!

    2. M. Poolman

      Re: Why zoom?

      Since lock-down, I've used (for work and leisure) FB messenger, Google meet, MS teams, Skype and Zoom. Zoom for me is head and shoulders above the rest: simpler to set up, better audio and video quality, and more reliable (of course your experience may be different)..

      I think it's telling that this is from a start-up who focus on doing one thing and doing it well, as opposed the the offerings of various mega-corps who see something new and want to add a slice of the action to their portfolio.

      I guess it's only a matter of before Zoom get bought by someone much larger, and I'll have to start looking for an alternative.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why zoom?

        Have not used FB Messenger, Google Meet or Skype; but I have used Teams, Jitsi, Zoom and BigBlueButton.

        For corporate - Teams, there is no other viable option if you are locked into the Office365 bollocks.

        For a conference - BigBlueButton, it's geared-up for that kind of thing, giving the presenter/host greater control

        For ad hoc personal stuff - Jitsi. No install required (although you can use an application if you want) and it is cross-browser.

        Zoom engages in anti-patterns (ramming their shitting app down your throat) and only begrudgingly letting you use the browser, they also present serious privacy concerns. It's also not that stable and rather demanding on hardware.

      2. CivicMinded
        Holmes

        Re: Why zoom? — Agreed, with caveat

        Zoom is is head and shoulders above the other services we have used, unless a) Teams will do, and b) as long as you manage your security.

        Small groups, competent users, regulars = Teams if you have it.

        Large groups, lacking 21st century skills, new folks all the time = Zoom is easy, good quality, you can turn mics on/off, lock the meeting, use Waitingroom &c.

        Only one of the security issues had any impact on us: FB-data on iPhone.

        Then again, professional organisation, we knew what we did, we never imagined they actually had end-to-end encryption. (Neither did Cisco + Acano, which we had before.)

        As always: Don't choose a tool because of reputation, but based on needs, support you get/ have to give ... the boring stuff.

      3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Why zoom?

        My company uses Teams, Skype and Webex due to the fact that we've made a boatload of acquisitions around the world in the last couple of years and the acquisitions, while almost entirely on Teams now, occasionally need to fall back on one of the others. My far flung extended family uses Zoom because it's free. I have to say I have not seen anything in it that makes it superior in any way compared to the others except it does a lousy job with time zone adjustments (or specifying the time zone) in invite emails, causing endless confusion. I think it's taken off mainly because Mac users seem to think it's the only thing out there and they can use it for free. Ironically, in my extended family, the most problems with Zoom have been with the Mac users. It appears Firefox for Mac doesn't play well with Zoom. It took weeks to convince some familial Mac users to just launch the stand alone Zoom app and type in the meeting number & password rather than click the meeting URL in their AOL account in Firefox (Yes, AOL. Like most Mac users, "tech savvy" they ain't).

      4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Why zoom?

        I have used Blackboard Collaborate (integrates with our digital learning environment), Skype, Google Meets, Jitsi, Webex, and Zoom. Sound and video quality are best in Zoom, in my experience. The others work with varying degrees of success

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      I do not know how Zoom pulled it off. But one of the reasons many flocked to it was because it is not perceived spyware from the Rejects of Redmond. The other is it was available and apparently fairly easy to install and use, something to consider when most groups IT department is one lone person. A person is inherited the role because they know the most about computers in the group.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      In Skype's case, it's because you all need accounts to get started, MS have ruined the client, some people don't see other people's video, and if there's four or five people then there's constant feedback driving everyone mad.

      In Teams case, it's because everyone needs accounts, results again can be pretty bad depending on how Azure feels like today, the client again is pretty poor, and until recently it wasn't aimed at individual people and it could only show video for up to four people.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      re: "How did [Zoom] get to be The videocall platform of the pandemic?"

      My guess: free + "easy" for marketroids and other non-tech types. At least this is what I deduce from knowing who among my colleagues is using it (at their initiation, i.e., not fobbed on them by work or management).

      Thanks, all, for sharing your experiences with the various options, I may need to re-read your (un-)recommendations in the future.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How are they making any money?

    It's just WebRTC, it's nothing new, it's nothing innovative.

    There are free (as in cost and speech) versions which are superior and don't send all your info to China.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: How are they making any money?

      Agreed. It's a tech "Emperor has no clothes", but doesn't that describe most of Silicon Valley?

  5. phogan

    Nice alliteration.

  6. jockmcthingiemibobb

    Zoom's Australian servers clearly couldn't cope during lockdown and calls were hitting their US West servers. Obviously causing lag plus a major headache for ISPs. Quite why the media promoted them as the video conferencing defacto was beyond me.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Horses for Courses

    For calls to family, FaceTime works best as all use iPhones (many with handed-down ones that still get the latest updates).

    For calls within an organisation that also needs file sharing, shared task tracking, etc., Teams.

    For calls with up to maybe a dozen people, not all on Apple kit, Skype is fine.

    For calls of more than a dozen and needing to screen share, Zoom.

    Also, to bring people relatively unfamiliar with video calls into a group, Zoom.

    WhatsApp is OK for a small number, if nothing else in common. FB Messenger if you're really desperate!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For various reasons I currently have 6 of these tools installed (Webex, Skype, Teams, GotoMeeting, Google Meet and Zoom). From a UX perspective, Zoom is definitely the best of the 6. Much of the stuff in the press around Zoombombing shows a simple lack of understanding. If you post your Zoom details on Facebook for anyone to join and don't configure your settings properly, guess what, someone just might join and do something you don't want them to. Blaming Zoom is like blaming Chubb after having your TV nicked because you left your front door wide open.

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